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Phoenix Water Users Building
Phoenix, Arizona


Description: Phoenix Water Users Building
Other Names:
Address: Van Buren and Second Avenue, near site of Y.M.C.A. Building
Type: commercial
Original Client:
Date: ca. 1912
Condition: demolished

Architect or Firm: Henry C. Trost
Associated Architect or Firm: Royal W. Lescher of Phoenix
Contractors: Olsen & Graf of Phoenix
Dimensions and Orientation: Spanish Renaissance,  two stories with elevated basement. First floor were offices, the second floor assembly room and the basement six large steel vaults.
Budget/Cost: $35,000

Foundation: probably concrete
Wall Materials: brick with plaster finish
Roofing Materials: clay tile
Other Materials Used:
Remodeling and Additions:

Location of Drawings: None known to exist
Location of Documentary Photographs: post card, privately owned: photograph of exterior of Water Users Building, visible behind Y.M.C.A. Building.

Bibliography: (1)Arizona Good Roads Association, Illustrated Road Maps and Tour Book (Prescott, Arizona: Arizona Good Roads Association, 1913; reprinted, Phoenix: Arizona Highways Magazine, 1987), page 49, photographic general view
(2) The Los Angeles Times – July 16, 1911 page 78
(3) El Paso Herald August 27, 1910 page 11

Remarks: The Phoenix Water Users Building was described as a Trost & Trost design in a telephone interview, Lloyd C. Engelbrecht interviewing Robert R. Frankeberger, August 1989.

In 1911, the Spanish Renaissance building (known as the Water Users’ Building) was designed by architects Trost & Trost of El Paso with Royal W. Lescher of Phoenix, associate. The contractors were Olsen & Graf of Phoenix. building was devoted entirely to the use of farmers of the Salt River Valley. The Water Users’ Association was composed of those who paid tolls for and derive benefits from the waters off the great reservoir.

The first floor of the building was occupied by the Reclamation Service. It was governed by a president and a board of governors. In the building the president, secretary and treasurer had offices. There was a large room for meetings of the board of governors. There were drafting rooms, offices for the supervising engineers, constructing engineers, operating engineers, and canal superintendent. The paymaster and fiscal agent, the chief clerk and the accountants had separate offices.

On the second floor was the Water Users’ assembly room, where agriculture, horticulture and irrigation was discussed by farmers. A large room in the basement was converted into a secondary assembly room, with six large steel vaults and a small library. In the center of the building was a rotunda, with art glass ceiling, extending up for the two stories and surrounded by a balcony.

The Water Users’ building was constructed of brick, with plaster finish and tile roof. The cost 35,000. This Water Users’ building was the second building that would occupy a single square area with Phoenix. The Y.M.C.A. building (done by Trost & Trost) and the Federal building were the additional building within the square.

The building was later demolished.

Prepared for the El Paso Public Library by Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1990.